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McDonnell Schroder

Employment Law

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It is important to have the best legal advice and representation on your side when issues arise in the workplace.
Employment Law
Employment Law

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You may find yourself in need of expert legal advice, when there is:

Strict time limits apply for some cases. In most cases of unfair dismissal, there is a strict 21 day deadline. Speak to McDonnell Schroder today to make sure you have expert legal representation on your side.  Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to; Unpaid wages, in the case of underpayment, compensation or reinstatement.

Unfair Dismissal

Dismissal or termination of employment happens when your employment has been terminated by your employer, or when you have been forced to resign due to something your employer has done.

Have you or someone you care about been dismissed from their job? Did it seem unfair or unreasonable? Unfair dismissal arises when an employee is relieved of their duties in a harsh, unfair or unjust manner. If you think this has occurred, you may be able to make an application to the Fair Work Commission for compensation or to get your job back.

Your dismissal might be unfair if you can prove that it was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, and not a case of genuine redundancy.  If your employer is a small business, with less than 15 employees, they must also comply with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code.

There are strict deadlines to make a claim for unfair dismissal.

To make an application you must lodge it within 21 days of the dismissal or your resignation. As an employee, you must also be covered by the national system. You must have been employed for at least 6 months before you can apply, or for 12 months in a small business.

There are other options if you have been dismissed for a redundancy that is not genuine, for wrongful dismissal under your contract, or for serious misconduct. You may also be covered by general protections. Look out for our articles about these different types of employment termination over the coming issues.

Don’t forget that strict time limits apply to employment claims and you should seek urgent legal help.

Employment Law


Genuine redundancy occurs when your employer:

The redundancy is not genuine if your employer:

If you have been made redundant, it can be an incredibly difficult time for both you and your loved ones. If your redundancy is genuine, it is not unfair dismissal. But, if the redundancy was not genuine, or you have not received all of your entitlements, you may be able to bring a legal claim to protect your rights to the Fair Work Commission.

The first question you must ask yourself is whether or not your job is still available. If the answer is no, then it could be argued that because your role no longer exists or is no longer required by your work, your redundancy is likely to be genuine. If your answer is yes and your role has been replaced due to a reshuffle of staff or the employer’s need to downsize, your redundancy may not be genuine. If you are not sure if your redundancy was genuine, you should get legal advice.

If you want to make an unfair dismissal application to the Fair Work Commission, you must do so within 21 days of the date you were dismissed. Make sure you get legal advice about filing your application before you run out of time!

Workplace rights and general protections

As a worker, you have rights regardless of your job title or salary. The law protects these rights so that if you are mistreated or experience discrimination, help is available.

General employee protections exist to protect employees from adverse action because they have exercised one of their workplace rights, like the right to:

It also protects workers against discrimination because of race, colour, gender, age, beliefs, mental disability, marital status, pregnancy, political opinion, or social origin.

It’s important to recognise that an employer cannot take an adverse action against you for exercising your workplace rights. An adverse actions may be terminating your employment, injuring you, discriminating against you or changing your job to your disadvantage.

You might be protected as an employee or an employer, a prospective employee, an independent contractor or subcontractor, or union members.

If you believe your worker’s rights have been breached, you may be able to lodge a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman or the Fair Work Commission.  It is important to remember that strict time limits apply (usually 21 days) to employment claims and complaints under general protections laws. If you are not sure what steps you should take or what you need to do next, it’s important to seek legal advice quickly.

Contact the Employment Law experts at McDonnell Schroder

McDonnell Schroder knows both employees and employers have rights and obligations to each other to fulfill their contractual and statutory obligations to each other.

Understanding your rights can be a big part of the solution and may help resolve your concerns arising from the workplace.

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